Coolest Crossovers From The New York Auto ShowWhile nameplates like Accord, Camry, Fusion and Malibu still dot the automotive marketplace, a major shift in buying habits is taking place right before our eyes. Crossovers are well on their way to becoming the new de facto family car in the United States.
In fact, GMC, which you'll see represented a little later in this list, says, "The compact SUV market leapt 17.4 percent in 2014 to account for 15.7 percent of the total US market, overtaking midsize cars for the first time as the auto industry's largest vehicle segment."
It's no surprise, then, that automakers from America, Germany and Japan are all using the 2015 New York Auto Show to introduce both heavily updated and brand-new crossover models to the masses.
Here are five of the most important crossover debuts from the 2015 New York Auto Show.
2016 Lexus RXClick here for Autoblog's complete coverage of the 2016 Lexus RX.
As the best-selling model in the brand's 26-year history – with global sales of more than 2.1 million units – the RX represents three out of ten vehicles ever sold by Lexus. The 2016 RX builds on that trend with a completely new, luxurious interior to match its fresh, new, chiseled body style. The large dose of Lexus brand DNA that's been artfully incorporated into the details can not only be seen, but also felt. The new fourth-generation RX also boasts exceptional on-road performance and safety technologies that include the innovative Lexus Safety System.
"With the new Lexus Safety System, we offer drivers an added level of occupant safety in a conveniently bundled package that leverages some of the latest accident prevention technology. We certainly expect the proliferation of these features to continue throughout the luxury vehicle market and our Lexus lineup as the industry remains steadfast in the pursuit of enhanced vehicle safety," said Jeff Bracken, Group Vice President and General Manager Lexus Division. Takayuki Katsuda, the Chief Engineer of the new RX said, "Our ambition has been to make a bold and completely new statement in this segment while building on and staying true to the pioneering values of previous RX generations."
The 2016 Infiniti QX50, which was one of the first luxury compact crossovers and continues to be one of the most powerful, features new exterior styling, an extended wheelbase and more than eight cubic feet of additional interior room. It is scheduled to go on sale in North America in fall 2015.
The QX50's new front end brings its appearance more in line with the design language that first appeared in the Infiniti Q50 and Q70 – including its new LED Daytime Running Lights and LED fog lights. There's also a new side sill design, a new rear fascia, LED side mirror turn signals and a new 19-inch wheel design. The QX50 wheelbase has been extended by 3.2 inches, with most of the gain – 4.3 inches of additional legroom – felt by rear seat passengers. Overall, interior volume has been increased by 8.3 cubic feet, including an additional 2.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
"The QX50 was one of the first luxury compact crossovers, foreshadowing one of the hottest segments in the auto industry right now. It was the first vehicle to offer our innovative Around View Monitor. And it remains one of the most powerful and versatile personal crossovers you can buy. The enhancements for 2016 keep it fresh and competitive," said Albaisa.
As in previous years, the 2016 QX50 is equipped with a standard 325-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine and a 7-speed automatic transmission. It is offered two models – QX50 and QX50 AWD with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive – and with several optional equipment packages that have also been revised for 2016.
2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Toyota has been the overwhelming gas-electric hybrid sales leader in the US since 2000. Now, 15 years after the first Prius was sold in the U.S., Toyota has unveiled its eighth hybrid offering as part of the refreshed 2016 RAV4.
Launching this fall, the RAV4 Hybrid will be targeted towards young adventure-seeking couples looking for a vehicle that provides utility, versatility, capability and excellent fuel efficiency.
Fewer fill-ups will become the norm with the addition of a new, fuel efficient RAV4 Hybrid. Higher MPG comes without sacrifice as the RAV4 Hybrid will deliver more horsepower and better acceleration than the conventional RAV4.
2016 GMC Terrain
The 2016 GMC Terrain lineup features new front and rear fascias, new grille designs, a power dome hood, light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lamps and additional updates. Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are offered on SLE and SLT models for the first time.
"Terrain is a popular choice in the growing compact SUV segment, introducing drivers to GMC's professional grade design and features," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. "The changes for 2016 provide consumers with even more reasons to consider Terrain as it continues to be a smart choice for customers seeking versatility, style and technology."
2016 Mercedes GLE
Mercedes-Benz has thoroughly revised its best-seller in the SUV segment. The highlights of the new GLE include considerably more appealing front and tail ends and extensive measures which make new benchmarks with regard to emissions and drive system possible. For the first time in its SUV history, Mercedes-Benz offers a plug-in hybrid model, the GLE550e 4MATIC, which combines maximum efficiency with outstanding performance. This multi-talent will even best the already low fuel consumption figures of the efficiency champion GLE300d with four-cylinder diesel engine, while delivering the performance of a V8 model. The advantages of the new GLE furthermore include best on-road and off-road handling, outstanding spaciousness and high levels of active and passive safety. The high-performance SUV models, the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 4MATIC and the GLE63 S 4MATIC, celebrate their world premieres at the same time at the New York International Auto Show.
"State-of-the-art and efficient drive technology, combined with superior ride quality and the versatility and robustness typical for SUVs - the new GLE has all the ingredients to continue the success story of our best-seller," is how Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars, characterizes the newest member of the Mercedes-Benz SUV family. Outstanding safety and a high level of driving dynamics both on the road and in terrain are among the other strengths of the premium SUV. Furthermore, the GLE impresses with ground-breaking assistance systems and the innovative DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control system, which offers extensive drive and off-road programs for even the base model.